VerMeer's Geographer

VerMeer's Geographer
The Geographer, by Vermeer, c. 1669


What Jesus said about homosexuality -- Part 1 & Part 2

By Dan Popp

It's another slogan that passes for thought among the thinking-averse: "Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality...." The rest of the sentence remains unspoken for fear that laughter might break out. "Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality; therefore He approves of it."

First of all, that's what's known as an "argument from silence;" a logical fallacy. By this rule Jesus would be made to endorse rape, cannibalism and lots of other nasty stuff. Secondly, we cannot know whether Jesus, in His brief earthly ministry, ever mentioned homosexual sin specifically (see John 21:25), so the claim can't be substantiated. But the slogan is not only unverifiable and non-rational; it reveals ignorance of what we know Jesus did say. Though His teachings recorded in the gospels don't directly address the issue of same-sex sex, the Scriptures leave no room for an honest reader to conclude that Christ condones any sin, including this one.

Before we look at what Jesus said about homosexuality, let me explain my purpose in writing this. It isn't to put anyone down, or to say, "Jesus hates fags." If the Lord hated homosexual sinners, He would have to hate heterosexual sinners (like King David), and certainly murderers (like David, Moses and Paul), thieves, and so on, right down to jaywalkers. And me. And all Christians. If the Son of God had hated us sinners, He certainly wouldn't have endured torture and death on the cross to rescue us. To rescue us from our sins. My one intention is to help other believers respond to the far-less-than-half-truth that "Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality."

Jesus' affirmation: The morality of the Old Testament is still valid

Contrary to the popular misconception, Jesus is not the Second Moses. He didn't come to give us new laws, or to hand out free passes to break the old ones. Christ didn't have to stand on a mountain and repeat by name every sin mentioned in the Old Testament for all of those sins to remain sins. God, by definition, doesn't change; therefore He does not change His ideas about what's right and wrong. If sin is not sin, then God is not God. *

Jesus addressed all sins generally when He said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished." (Matt. 5:17,18) Again in Luke 16:16,17 He said, "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the Law to fail."

Far from smashing the moral code revealed to Israel, Jesus didn't even relax it — He tightened it.
"You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder....' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court.... You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' but I say to you, that every one who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." (read Matt. 5:21ff)
In this less-loved portion of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord continues with four more laws — each time with that same formula: You have heard...but I say — each time showing not that the Law of God has been repealed; rather, that it reaches deeper than we ever knew.

Jesus' premise: The original pattern is God's will

In answering a question about divorce, Christ lays a foundation that has implications for our topic.
And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?" And He answered and said, "Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh'? Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate and divorce her?" He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been this way." (Matt. 19:3-8 NASB, emphasis mine — see also Mark 10:2-9)
His argument assumes that God created things a certain way because (duh) that's the way He wanted them. If we can get back to the original pattern, before sin marred the picture, we'll be able to see God's will for human sex and marriage. That heavenly will, restated here by the Lord, is one man and one woman united in marriage for life.

Christ taunts the Pharisees, faulting them for not deducing God's perfect will regarding marriage from the simple words, the two shall become one flesh. The implications of the fact that before God joined them, He made them male and female are even more elementary.

Homosexual behavior and "gay marriage" aren't going to fit into this primal pattern, which Jesus here places above the Law of Moses. If "serial monogamy" between man/woman couples isn't God's will, then neither is anything further outside the lines drawn in the opening chapters of Genesis. Jerry Falwell popularized this argument, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." He created them male and female for a reason. Creation involves design, and design reveals intent.

There are at least two other ways that Jesus spoke out against same-sex sex. I hope to examine those next time.

* Disbelievers have been known mock this truth, conflating universal laws with rules given to Israel to make it unique; failing to differentiate the ceremonial from the moral; and confusing changing punishments for sin, with the unchangeable sinfulness of sin. A digression for their sake is either unnecessary or unmerited.

© Dan Popp


In my previous essay I tried to show how two of Jesus' teachings bear on the issue of whether He condones homosexual behavior. These were words directly from His mouth that deal with our question indirectly. In this article I plan to discuss an indirect way He addressed the direct issue, as well as a direct way He dealt with the matter directly. Yes, Jesus had a surprising amount to say about homosexuality.

Jesus' commission: The Apostles speak for Him

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: to print the "Words of Christ in Red." But this marketing gimmick may help fuel the notion that the sayings of Jesus are somehow "more inspired" than the rest of the Bible. That isn't possible. Paul wrote, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16, NASB, emphasis mine) Peter classed Paul's writings among "the rest of the Scriptures." (2 Peter 3:15,16) The New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament prophets agree that every word of the Bible, as originally penned, is exactly as God wants it to be.

The Apostles had plenty to say about same-sex sex, and none of it positive — for example, in Romans 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 1 Tim. 1:9-11, and 2 Peter 2:6-10. So when people say, "Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality..." they're insinuating that there's some kind of feud between Christ and His hand-picked spokesmen. Not only is there no evidence for that, it's ludicrous on its face. Virtually everything we know about Jesus comes from the Apostles. If they misrepresented His views in their letters, then we can't trust their reports of what He said in the gospels. On the other hand, if you accept "Blessed are the meek" as an authentic sentiment of Jesus, then Romans 1 and all the other scriptures against homosexual behavior are also accurate representations of His thoughts.

Jesus explained in advance how this would work. At the Last Supper, alone with His disciples, He said:

    "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning. ... I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." (John 15:26, 27... 16:12,13)
Just as the Son spoke for the Father by the Spirit (John 8:26-29, John 12:49-50, John 14:10), the Apostles spoke for Jesus by the same Spirit. If you believe in Jesus, you have staked your eternal soul on the veracity of what the Apostles wrote. To believe in Christ is to believe the Apostles; or, to put it the other way around, to disbelieve them is to disbelieve in Him. There is no rift between Jesus and Paul, or Jesus and Peter, or Jesus and John. The black letters are just as much the thoughts and intentions of Christ as the red letters.

Jesus' pre-existence: The Word speaks for Himself

But the excuser of homosexual sin doesn't just have to invent a war between Jesus and His designated agents. He also must pretend that there's contention within the Godhead. The Son uproots the works of the Father.

In fact it was the Gnostics, not the Christians, who taught that Christ was sent to demolish the ways of the inferior Hebrew god (the "Demiurge") and establish the worship of a better, nicer god. Now, if you get your information about Christianity from the "History" channel, you may be under the impression that the Gnostics were a sect of Christians. You may also believe that the pyramids were built by space aliens. Gnostics were pagans. People who say that Jesus repealed the moral law given at Sinai, are ignorantly parroting the dogma of a long-dead cult.

Christians believe that the Son of God did not begin to exist when He "became flesh and dwelt among us." Rather, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (John 1:1-3 — See also Colossians 1:15-17) Though we can distinguish the Son from the Father as Persons, they aren't separate Gods, or separate parts of God. They are perfectly unified, along with the Spirit. Whatever God the Father said in the Old Testament — including what He said against same-sex sex — was said by the Son, and the Spirit as well. The holy prophets were moved by "the Spirit of Christ." (1 Peter 1:11) So the command in Leviticus 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination," came from the Word, the Logos, the Christ — just as surely as the command, "Let there be light," and the command, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."


It's easy to see, in just the four quick points I've given, that Jesus did say something about homosexual behavior. He said it in the Old Testament, and in the New. He said it directly, by His own mouth; and indirectly, through others. He spoke about it generally, under the umbrella of all OT sins; and he talked about it very specifically, describing the activity. It just isn't honest to say that Christ was silent on this subject.

Or that He approves.

© Dan Popp


Political Islam // Articles // The Black Hole of History

Political Islam // Articles // The Black Hole of History

The Black Hole of History

Everybody knows that Turkey, Egypt, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and other Islamic nations (there are 57 in all) are nearly 100% Muslim. Those countries were Christian, Buddhist and Hindu. Exactly how did this change to Muslim happen?

When you read history it seems that Islam came, and, magically, the countries are Islamic. But of course an event of this magnitude did not simply happen. But our schools insist that Islam “just happens.” In fact, the entire history of the rise of Islamic imperialism is denied in the curriculum of our private, state and religious schools. Our schools don’t teach how Islam transforms each and every nation it invades to pure Islam, how it happens and what the consequences are. This is the law of Islamic saturation.

Our history denies the truth of the Islamification of civilizations. Actually, our history denies that Islam is even involved. It was the Turks, the Arabs, the Moors and so on. There is no Islam, just some ethnic group.

Look even closer at the history and ask this question: how many Kafirs (non-Muslims) died in Islamic conquest? You may find a number of dead here and there at a particular battle, but the establishment answer of the number murdered by jihad is zero, zip, none. In fact, there was not even a category called “jihad deaths.” You see, Islam just happens.

After 9/11, there was an intellectual response to the establishment intellectual vacuum about how Islam actually functioned. A revolution of new scholarship on Islam was created by those amateur scholars who are outside the brain-dead establishment academy. The minds and labors of Bat Ye’or, Spencer, Trifkovic, Bostom, Warraq, Warner, Phares and many others tackled the problem of the true nature of Islam. The new scholarship gave answers to all of the questions about Islamic colonization of the world.

For the deaths caused by Sharia law, the Center for the Study of Political Islam coined the name, Tears of Jihad. There is no way to actually come up with a precise number of deaths, because Islam has written the history (after all, they were the winners) and, of course, the history is all beautiful. There is only one way to even get close to a precise answer and that is for the academy to take up this subject and treat it as a priority. Conferences would be held, papers given, journals published with peer reviews and the rest of the academic critical thought process would go on for decades and many papers.

If the answer to the total jihad deaths is not zero, then CSPI proposes that 270 million Kafirs have been murdered over the last 1400 years. This figure includes 60 million Christians and 80 million Hindus. What if only 30 million Christians had been killed? Does that mean that churches should continue to ignore the Coptic murders in Egypt today and deny the million Armenians killed in the 20th century? Would Hindus have more or less courage if only 50 million, instead of 80 million had been murdered?

This is a civilizational problem, not an accounting problem. It is not that we deny that 270 million have been killed by jihad; we deny that Islam is even at war with all Kafirs and Kafir civilization. A better kill number won’t erase the cowardice that blinds us today to an acknowledgment that Islam has a history of annihilating all civilization—the law of Islamic saturation.

It is interesting to see people’s reaction to the numbers. The vast majority ignore them. They don’t want to know. The most political figure is the number of Africans killed in jihad for the slave trade. The establishment tells us that all slaves were brought here from the West coast of Africa by Christians. It turns out that the slave trade was also on the Mediterranean and the east coast of Africa and each and everyone of the wholesalers in Africa were Muslims. This knowledge violates the establishment dogma of Christian evil.

One of the failures of the number 270 million is that it does not include the number of the Zoroastrians killed in Persia and other minorities such as the Sabians and Bahai. Who knows how many peasants died in some village without a name, simply because they did not believe that Mohammed was the prophet of Allah?

So, if the number is not 270 million, then what is a better number? Use critical thought to answer this problem, and don’t tell us that the number is zero. Give us an improvement, not a denial. We have had denial for 1400 years.

Facts and numbers are important but the real tragedy here is that our schools don’t teach the history that is the source the world’s greatest suffering caused by Islamic jihad imperialism. Since establishment professors and historians refuse to touch the subject of the Tears of Jihad, we must depend upon other scholarship to address the question of how we get the exact numbers. To that end, if you can improve any of the death figures with factual data, go to /blog/the-black-hole-of-history/ and give us your information.

Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam
Permalink /blog/the-black-hole-of-history/
copyright (c) CBSX, LLC,



Warning LOTS of foul language by the Occupiers.   Of course, what to expect?
The Occupation in DC
To me it's fascinating that name the "Occupy..." protestors chose for themselves--as an "occupation" has always been used in the past with a negative connotation...for groups which take over and control what is not rightfully, or lawfully theirs.   See the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, or, the Nazi OCCUPATION of Holland, France, Belgium, etc.

Count me as a member of the resistance--standing up for liberty-in-law, opposing MOB RULE.


Muslim Bullies Shroud the True Face of 9/11

by Diana West

Having passed the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I can now say with certainty that something major was missing from all of the ceremonies, the symbolism and the media coverage. It was something that not only captures the meaning of the attacks themselves, but better defines our response to them than any other single thing. It is the face of the age itself, and it is not Osama bin Laden's.

I refer to the most familiar of the 12 Danish Muhammad cartoons, the one by Kurt Westergaard. I always think of this world-famous drawing as "Bomb-head Muhammad," for the lit bomb that serves as Muhammad's turban. (This is no fantastical image, as we learned last month when Afghan President Hamid Karzai prevailed upon local imams to implore their flocks to stop putting bombs in their turbans after three separate assassinations via turban bombs took place.)

I say "world-famous drawing," but have you ever actually seen this cartoon printed in a newspaper, or shown on a news broadcast? No. With exceptions to be counted on one hand, this ultra-potent image has never received mainstream media display, despite its almost continual newsworthiness.

Yes, the media have covered the most violent eruptions of jihad that Muslims still wage against Denmark for having a free press with the temerity to function in dereliction of Islamic law. These have ranged from Islamic rioting that killed more than 100 people, to Islamic attacks on Danish interests, to Islamic boycotts of Danish products, to Islamic plots against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, to this week's Islamic security threat against Westergaard that sent him home early from a trip to Norway.

But Western media have almost never dared flout Islamic law (Shariah) to show what "the fuss" was all about. They have almost never published the Westergaard Muhammad, which not only depicts Muhammad, Islam's prophet (verboten) but also illustrates the violence of Islamic jihad -- an implicit criticism of Islam, also verboten.

Instead, the free press of the West has accepted and enforced Islamic limits on expression by voluntarily censoring this skillfully executed, pointed political cartoon. Even when on Jan. 1, 2010, Westergaard was almost assassinated inside his home in Denmark, along with his 5-year-old granddaughter, by an ax-wielding Muslim, Western media again bowed to Shariah by omitting the "offending" cartoon from coverage of the attack. It is that censorship, that bow to Shariah, that defines the post-9/11 age. It also makes the Westergaard Muhammad its poster child.

Little did Westergaard imagine in 2005 that he was drawing an image for all time when he sat down to contribute a sketch to an artists' page full of Muhammads for Jyllands-Posten -- an exercise editor Flemming Rose specifically devised to demonstrate that Denmark wasn't under Islamic law, which prohibits such drawings.

But more than any shot of Osama bin Laden, the Westergaard Muhammad symbolizes our age. Bin Laden was a mass murderer, an external threat to ward off, hunt down and kill like an uncommon criminal. But the Westergaard Muhammad turned out to be one Westerner's mirror on the 9/11 attacks, and the wider West flinched at the reflection. From government to the academy, from media to the military, we couldn't -- and can't -- look at it in public. To this day, we refuse to face the history of jihad to extend Islam's law that the 9/11 attacks exemplify and that this cartoon so sharply symbolizes. Instead, we avert our eyes from the face of jihad and accept Islam's law.

This tells us that 9/11 wasn't a crisis about security. Rather, it was a crisis about our own insecurity -- our inability to stand up and defend the liberties that made us who we are -- or, rather, who we were, or at least tried to be. Even worse, it exposed our inability as a society to emulate, let alone celebrate, those who would fight for those liberties with just their pens and brushes, their cameras and voices.

For the decade after 9/11, we chose the dhimmitude that the taboo on the Westergaard Muhammad symbolizes. It may seem like a lot to put on a quickly sketched newspaper drawing, but not until we assert our right to publish the Westergaard Muhammad will the West ever be free again.


Doubting on Your Part Does Not Constitute a Crisis of Faith on Mine

Article by Carl Trueman August 2011
One of the amusing things I have noticed in the last twelve months or so has been a shift in the rhetoric used by members of the older generation (40 plus) surrounding what twenty- and thirty-somethings will believe. Five years ago, I had the privilege of hearing a lecture by Leonard Sweet, provocative and stimulating as always, in which he argued that the younger generation was finished with old ways of doing church, with big conferences, and with doctrinal debates. Instead, it had moved decisively in favour of questioning old dogmas and of preferring a more relational, less propositional and traditionally institutional, form of Christianity. At around the same time, Phyllis Tickle started talking about how the emergent/ing church was the kind of movement which came along once a millennium and was set to seep all before it.

In addition to these kinds of hyperbolic claims (and any categorical claim made about the present which can only be verified in, say, fifty years time, is hyperbolic), the Christian world suddenly seemed deluged with a vocabulary apparently derived from a kind of cut-price, non-teleological Hegelianism. Truth as assertion, truth as rest, was out; truth as journey or conversation was in. The thrill was not in arriving; it was in the traveling itself. It is, of course, a view of truth which sits perfectly with the coffee house Christianity of the comfortable West; I am not sure if it could have inspired the Apostle Paul to remain confident through all the trials and tribulations he had to endure in the first century.

For those of us who think that it should be a capital offence to use the term `journey' for anything other than a trip between geographical Point A and geographical Point B, these were disturbing times. Even 'conversation' was problematic as a term. First, my experience of theological `conversationalists' was that they were not interested in working together to establish a common viewpoint, a type of Socratic dialogue; rather, they generally aimed to establish merely a common understanding of differences. That is in itself a laudable aim; but for most of church history, it has constituted the merest preliminary groundwork for future constructive dialogue.

Second, as I pointed out to one local conversationaphile, his merry band of conversation partners regarded as beyond the Pale anyone who actually believed that the end of the conversation was not the conversation itself. Indeed, they immediately regarded such a one as not actually being part of the conversation on the grounds of being obviously either mentally deficient or implacably evil. I think this person considered me to fall into the latter category; but I may be flattering myself there.

The problems with all the above are manifold and obvious. The younger generation today are arguably no more iconoclastic and questioning of traditional authority than previous ones. The sixties were scarcely a bastion of mindless submission to the received wisdom of parents, police, politicians etc. And, for all of the posturing about the uniqueness of the postmodern condition, its underlying skepticism is as old as philosophy itself. It may have had many guises over the years, from Academic and Pyrrhonian through that of Pomponazzi down to the postmoderns of yesterday's papers.

Sociologically and theologically, a further problem that has recently emerged is the Young, Restless and Reformed movement. While this loose coalition is certainly not above criticism - serious criticism - at some points, it does rather put the lie to the idea that young people in their twenties and thirties will not believe things like doctrine and propositions and traditional orthodoxy.

So, there's a surprise. All those pundits and gurus in their forties, fifties, sixties and beyond were not quite as tuned in to what that group reified as 'the younger generation' would or would not believe. Youngsters - or at least some of them - still believe in old-fashioned truth, doctrines and Christianity. And while the millennium-shaking emergent movement seems to be retreating to shabby Woodstock pastiches, the YRR boasts a number of vibrant conferences, organizations and even (to the delight of us old school types) churches with elders, ministers and a touch of polity.

This is where the shift of rhetoric comes in. Some of the emergent critics of the YRR have spoken darkly of a movement of reaction involving a desperate quest for certainty in the wake of the abolition of such by the triumphant rise of novel skepticism (for the rise of skepticism, see above). Others have ditched the relatively positive language of `youth' and `younger generation' which they used when they thought they were in the vanguard for sniffy references to the `twenty-something crowd' who cluster round John Piper and company. How swiftly the scorned suitor's love turns to contempt.

In addition to this, we might also note the current popularity of what one might call the Christian answer to misery lit. Most of us are probably familiar with the secular phenomenon: all those books that detail bog awful childhoods marked by poverty or abuse or both. These days it seems one can scarcely hope to succeed as a celebrity unless one has suffered terribly during one's childhood. It puts those of us from good homes with idyllic upbringings at something of a disadvantage in later life.

The Christian equivalents are the autobiographies of those who have grown up in fundamentalist/evangelical households and have later gone on to repudiate the faith of their childhood, some by loosening up or rejecting various traditional doctrines, some by becoming Catholics, some by abandoning any profession of Christianity whatsoever. The tale is often told as a subplot of a more direct piece of scholarship where a bad experience of evangelicalism/fundamentalism is the launch pad for a more serious intellectual critique of aspects of the movement as a whole. Sometimes, however, the critique is part of a direct piece of autobiography. Frank Schaeffer's brilliant Crazy for God and its disappointing sequel would fit into this category. Published authors represent the merest tip of the icebergs: countless blogs and (pardon the expression) conversations would seem to indicate that the dynamic of reaction against an evangelical/fundamentalist upbringing is powerful in the religious development of many. To repeat a phrase I have used before: one big advantage of not growing up in a Christian home is that, whatever else has screwed you up, it is not the religion of your parents.

These two phenomena - the `get with the program or get left behind' approach of those like Sweet and Tickle and the reaction-against-upbringing approach of Schaeffer and company - have one thing in common: a tendency for leaders to generalize from their own narrow horizons to the universal experience or condition of everyone else. There is considerable irony in this as advocates of these positions often tend to oppose what they see as any act of interpretative imperialism which seeks to make one viewpoint normative for all. Connected to this, they also eschew notions of the stability of textual meaning which allow for the construction of universal systems of doctrine and ethics. Yet in making themselves the norm, they have done both of these things with a vengeance.

Thus, the emergent leaders hang out and have 'conversations' with those who like having conversations and dislike settling on any truth claim as exclusive; all others who do not share this position they dismiss as nutty, distasteful or wicked. The conversation is the imposed norm; all else is deviant. Meanwhile, those who were brought up in evangelical or fundamentalist homes, for some reason (whether moral, intellectual or simply personal) decide that they can no longer believe what their parents or schoolteachers told them; and they then assume that all those who do not see the problems they see with the faith are stupid or in denial or, once again, wicked and in it just for the power it brings.

In both streams, the imperialist assumption is that their way of viewing the world or their problems should be your way of viewing the world or my problems too. The fact that this is not so does not typically provoke self-reflection even at the level of `Maybe different people see things differently,' let alone `Maybe I am wrong and maybe this is not a problem after all.' Rather, as I have already repeated several times, it merely confirms the turpitude, intellectual or moral, of those upon whom they look down.

Over the last few years I have read dozens of pieces that tell me that it is no longer possible to believe in the historical Adam, in the Pentateuchal narratives, in a Christological reading of the Old Testament, in the Incarnation, in the resurrection, in biblical sexual ethics, and in hell; that, in doing so, I am acting irrationally and am engaged in a desperate quest for certainty. At times such sentiments sadden me; at other times they irritate. A desperate, irrational quest for certainty? How I wish that I might not be certain about a number of those things, given that they fly in the face of my socially liberal instincts.

My response to these criticisms varies depending upon the specific doctrine at issue but I would like to offer one general reply to those who write and email such. I am sorry that you have doubts; I am sorry that your Christian parents or schoolteachers screwed you up with their bad teaching; I am sorry that you can no longer believe the simple catechetical faith that you were once taught; I am sorry that the Bible seems like little more than a confused mish-mash of contradictory myths and endlessly deferred meaning. But that you struggle with doubts does not mean that those who do not struggle in the same way are simply weak-minded, in denial or bare-faced liars. Nor, more importantly, does the mere fact that you have doubts mean that those doubts are necessarily legitimate and well-grounded. Doubting on your part does not constitute a crisis of faith on mine.


Religion of Rape

Muslim Rape, Feminist Silence
By Jamie Glazov

Unveiled women who get raped deserve it.

That’s the pedagogy preached by the Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali, who recently sparked an international stir by pronouncing that women who do not veil themselves, and allow themselves to be “uncovered meat,” are at fault if they are raped.

This is nothing new, of course, and it is somewhat mysterious why the Sheikh’s comments have caused any shock at all, since his view is legitimized by various Islamic texts and numerous social and legal Islamic structures. And that is why back in September 2004 in Denmark, al-Hilali’s Australian counterpart, the Mufti Shahid Mehdi, declared exactly the same thing, stating that unveiled women are “asking for rape.”

All of this, in turn, explains the skyrocketing epidemic of Muslim rape in non-Islamic countries. Muslim newcomers are significantly overrepresented among convicted rapists and rape suspects throughout European nations such as Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.

No wonder why many Muslim rapists openly admit their actions and justify them smugly with casual references to their religious and cultural beliefs. This horrifying phenomenon was on display in a court trial in Australia last year, in which a Muslim rapist, going by the name ”MSK”, taunted his sobbing 14-year-old victim and proudly professed the legitimacy of his sexual assaults on young girls by explaining that his victims were not veiled — as the Islamic religion mandates women to be. [1]

“MSK” is from Pakistan. He is doing in Australia what he learned best back home: in some of the most notorious rural areas of Pakistan, gang rape is officially sanctioned as a legitimate form of keeping women marginalized and “in their place.” As noted earlier, certain realms of Islam help institutionalize this form of violent misogyny. The Koran, for instance, permits Muslim men to enslave – and have sexual relations with – the women of unbelievers captured in the spoils of war (Sura 4:23-24). The Islamic legal manual ‘Umdat al-Salik, which is endorsed by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, sanctions this violence, affirming that Muslims can enslave captured infidel women and make them concubines.

To compound this pathology, a notion has developed within the system of gender apartheid in which Muslims like “MSK” have grown up: the idea that a woman who does not veil herself is somehow responsible for any sexual or physical harm done to her. In the psychopathic mental gymnastics that occur in the perpetrators’ minds, the unveiled woman must be sexually punished for violating the “modesty” code. Thus, when Islamic Muftis like Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali and Shahid Mehdi declare that women who refuse to wear headscarves are “asking for rape,” they are merely regurgitating a popular theme in many segments of Islamic culture.

In traditional Islamic law, rape cannot be proven unless four males testify as witnesses (Sura 24:4 and 24:13). In other words, raped women cannot get justice anywhere Islamic law prevails. More horrifying still, a woman who has the courage to say she was raped, and fails to produce the four male witnesses (which is obviously almost always the case), ends up being punished because her accusation is regarded as an admission of pre-marital sex or adultery. And this is why seventy-five percent of the women in prison in Pakistan are behind bars for the crime of being a victim of rape.

In Holland, myriad women now bear the horrible scar that has infamously become known as “smiley,” whereby one side of the face is cut up from mouth to ear – a war mark left by Muslim rapists as a warning to other women who don’t veil themselves.

In France, the phenomenon of Muslim gang rape as punishment for non-veiling even has a word to describe it: “tournante” (take your turn). In areas where Muslims form the majority (i.e. the Muslim suburb of Courneuve, France), even non-Muslim women feel pressured to veil themselves in fear of Muslim sexual and physical punishment.

In the context of this epidemic of Muslim violence against women, and the open legitimization of it pronounced by Islamic clerics, one would think that the Western feminists of our time would be up in arms, sympathetically coming to the side of their raped sisters and standing up for women’s rights in general.

But this is just not the case.

The West’s leftist feminists are responding with an apathetic heartlessness and deafening silence. [2]

It’s all very much understandable and expected, of course: it is politically correct and cutting-edge to scream with moral indignation about a woman’s right to an abortion in the West, but to actually care for – and come to the public defense of – the female victim of a gang-rape committed by Muslims is unthinkable. This is so because admitting the Muslim rape epidemic, and the theology and institutions on which it is based, and denouncing it, would violate the central code of the “progressive” leftist faith: anti-Americanism and cultural relativism. No culture can be said to be better than any other – unless it is American culture, which is always fair game for derision and ridicule. But to criticize any Third World culture in general – and an adversary culture in particular – is to surrender the political cause and faith.

And that’s why leftist feminists are also completely mum on the horrors of forced marriages, honor killings and female genital mutilation within the Islamic world.

The worldview of Oslo Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Unni Wikan, is perfect in representing leftist feminists’ stand on Muslim rape and Islamic gender apartheid. Wikan’s solution for the high incidence of Muslims raping Norwegian women stresses neither the punishment of the perpetrators nor the repudiation of the Islamic theology that legitimizes such abuse of women. Instead, Wikan recommends that Norwegian women veil themselves. This is because, in Wikan’s view, Western women must take their share of responsibility for the rapes, since they are not dressing and behaving according to Muslim understanding. The Norwegian women, in her view, are to realize that they live in a multicultural society and should, therefore, adapt themselves to it. Sheikhs Taj al-Din al-Hilali and Shahid Mehdi would be proud.

It has long been evident that Western leftist feminists couldn’t care less about real actual breathing women; they care only about their ideological beliefs. For them, the victims of Muslim rape can be easily forgotten and dismissed — for the pursuit of their ultimate goal: to aid and abet the West’s totalitarian enemies and to wreak the destruction of their own free societies which bestow the individual liberties and rights that they despise and abhor.


[1] Although debate exists about whether Islam enforces women’s veiling, and there are some valiant Islamic reformers fighting for a tolerant Islam that does not enforce veiling, the unfortunate reality is that Muslim fundamentalists find legitimacy for forced veiling in Islamic texts. See Robert Spencer’s Onward Muslim Soldiers, pp. 77-78 and The Truth About Mohammad, pp. 44 and 61.

[2] Dr. Phyllis Chesler has powerfully documented Western feminism’s betrayal of Islamic gender apartheid’s victims in The Death of Feminism.


Get the whole story of leftist feminists’ alliance with Islamofascists in Jamie Glazov’s United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror.

Article printed from FrontPage Magazine:

URL to article:


The War Against Girls

The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2011

Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons

Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl's counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.
[GIRLS1] Ma Liuming/Sotheby's

'No. 23' (2005-06), a painting by Ma Liuming.

In the mid-1970s, amniocentesis, which reveals the sex of a baby in utero, became available in developing countries. Originally meant to test for fetal abnormalities, by the 1980s it was known as the "sex test" in India and other places where parents put a premium on sons. When amnio was replaced by the cheaper and less invasive ultrasound, it meant that most couples who wanted a baby boy could know ahead of time if they were going to have one and, if they were not, do something about it. "Better 500 rupees now than 5,000 later," reads one ad put out by an Indian clinic, a reference to the price of a sex test versus the cost of a dowry.

But oddly enough, Ms. Hvistendahl notes, it is usually a country's rich, not its poor, who lead the way in choosing against girls. "Sex selection typically starts with the urban, well-educated stratum of society," she writes. "Elites are the first to gain access to a new technology, whether MRI scanners, smart phones—or ultrasound machines." The behavior of elites then filters down until it becomes part of the broader culture. Even more unexpectedly, the decision to abort baby girls is usually made by women—either by the mother or, sometimes, the mother-in-law.

If you peer hard enough at the data, you can actually see parents demanding boys. Take South Korea. In 1989, the sex ratio for first births there was 104 boys for every 100 girls—perfectly normal. But couples who had a girl became increasingly desperate to acquire a boy. For second births, the male number climbed to 113; for third, to 185. Among fourth-born children, it was a mind-boggling 209. Even more alarming is that people maintain their cultural assumptions even in the diaspora; research shows a similar birth-preference pattern among couples of Chinese, Indian and Korean descent right here in America.
Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

By Mara Hvistendahl
PublicAffairs, 314 pages, $26.99

Ms. Hvistendahl argues that such imbalances are portents of Very Bad Things to come. "Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live," she writes. "Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent." As examples she notes that high sex ratios were at play as far back as the fourth century B.C. in Athens—a particularly bloody time in Greek history—and during China's Taiping Rebellion in the mid-19th century. (Both eras featured widespread female infanticide.) She also notes that the dearth of women along the frontier in the American West probably had a lot to do with its being wild. In 1870, for instance, the sex ratio west of the Mississippi was 125 to 100. In California it was 166 to 100. In Nevada it was 320. In western Kansas, it was 768.

There is indeed compelling evidence of a link between sex ratios and violence. High sex ratios mean that a society is going to have "surplus men"—that is, men with no hope of marrying because there are not enough women. Such men accumulate in the lower classes, where risks of violence are already elevated. And unmarried men with limited incomes tend to make trouble. In Chinese provinces where the sex ratio has spiked, a crime wave has followed. Today in India, the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income but sex ratio.

A high level of male births has other, far-reaching, effects. It becomes harder to secure a bride, and men can find themselves buying or bidding for them. This, Ms. Hvistendahl notes, contributes to China's astronomical household savings rate; parents know they must save up in order to secure brides for their sons. (An ironic reflection of the Indian ad campaigns suggesting parents save money by aborting girls.) This savings rate, in turn, drives the Chinese demand for U.S. Treasury bills.

And to beat the "marriage squeeze" caused by skewed sex ratios, men in wealthier imbalanced countries poach women from poorer ones. Ms. Hvistendahl reports from Vietnam, where the mail-order-bride business is booming thanks to the demand for women in China. Prostitution booms, too—and not the sex-positive kind that Western feminists are so fond of.

The economist Gary Becker has noted that when women become scarce, their value increases, and he sees this as a positive development. But as Ms. Hvistendahl demonstrates, "this assessment is true only in the crudest sense." A 17-year-old girl in a developing country is in no position to capture her own value. Instead, a young woman may well become chattel, providing income either for their families or for pimps. As Columbia economics professor Lena Edlund observes: "The greatest danger associated with prenatal sex determination is the propagation of a female underclass," that a small but still significant group of the world's women will end up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage.

All of this may sound dry, but Ms. Hvistendahl is a first-rate reporter and has filled "Unnatural Selection" with gripping details. She has interviewed demographers and doctors from Paris to Mumbai. She spends a devastating chapter talking with Paul Ehrlich, the man who mainstreamed overpopulation hysteria in 1968 with "The Population Bomb"—and who still seems to think that getting rid of girls is a capital idea (in part because it will keep families from having more and more children until they get a boy). In another chapter she speaks with Geert Jan Olsder, an obscure Dutch mathematician who, by an accident of history, contributed to the formation of China's "One Child" policy when he met a Chinese scientist in 1975. Later she visits the Nanjing headquarters of the "Patriot Club," an organization of Chinese surplus men who plot war games and play at mock combat.

Ms. Hvistendahl also dredges up plenty of unpleasant documents from Western actors like the Ford Foundation, the United Nations and Planned Parenthood, showing how they pushed sex-selective abortion as a means of controlling population growth. In 1976, for instance, the medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Malcom Potts, wrote that, when it came to developing nations, abortion was even better than birth control: "Early abortion is safe, effective, cheap and potentially the easiest method to administer."

The following year another Planned Parenthood official celebrated China's coercive methods of family planning, noting that "persuasion and motivation [are] very effective in a society in which social sanctions can be applied against those who fail to cooperate in the construction of the socialist state." As early as 1969, the Population Council's Sheldon Segal was publicly proclaiming the benefits of sex-selective abortion as a means of combating the "population bomb" in the East. Overall Ms. Hvistendahl paints a detailed picture of Western Malthusians pushing a set of terrible policy prescriptions in an effort to road-test solutions to a problem that never actually manifested itself.

There is so much to recommend in "Unnatural Selection" that it's sad to report that Ms. Hvistendahl often displays an unbecoming political provincialism. She begins the book with an approving quote about gender equality from Mao Zedong and carries right along from there. Her desire to fault the West is so ingrained that she criticizes the British Empire's efforts to stamp out the practice of killing newborn girls in India because "they did so paternalistically, as tyrannical fathers." She says that the reason surplus men in the American West didn't take Native American women as brides was that "their particular Anglo-Saxon breed of racism precluded intermixing." (Through most of human history distinct racial and ethnic groups have only reluctantly intermarried; that she attributes this reluctance to a specific breed of "racism" says less about the American past than about her own biases.) When she writes that a certain idea dates "all the way back to the West's predominant creation myth," she means the Bible.

Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the "right wing" or the "Christian right"—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful aborting of female babies or it could lead to "feminists' worst nightmare: a ban on all abortions."

It is telling that Ms. Hvistendahl identifies a ban on abortion—and not the killing of tens of millions of unborn girls—as the "worst nightmare" of feminism. Even though 163 million girls have been denied life solely because of their gender, she can't help seeing the problem through the lens of an American political issue. Yet, while she is not willing to say that something has gone terribly wrong with the pro-abortion movement, she does recognize that two ideas are coming into conflict: "After decades of fighting for a woman's right to choose the outcome of her own pregnancy, it is difficult to turn around and point out that women are abusing that right."

Late in "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl makes some suggestions as to how such "abuse" might be curbed without infringing on a woman's right to have an abortion. In attempting to serve these two diametrically opposed ideas, she proposes banning the common practice of revealing the sex of a baby to parents during ultrasound testing. And not just ban it, but have rigorous government enforcement, which would include nationwide sting operations designed to send doctors and ultrasound techs and nurses who reveal the sex of babies to jail. Beyond the police surveillance of obstetrics facilities, doctors would be required to "investigate women carrying female fetuses more thoroughly" when they request abortions, in order to ensure that their motives are not illegal.

Such a regime borders on the absurd. It is neither feasible nor tolerable—nor efficacious: Sex determination has been against the law in both China and India for years, to no effect. I suspect that Ms. Hvistendahl's counter-argument would be that China and India do not enforce their laws rigorously enough.

Despite the author's intentions, "Unnatural Selection" might be one of the most consequential books ever written in the campaign against abortion. It is aimed, like a heat-seeking missile, against the entire intellectual framework of "choice." For if "choice" is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against "gendercide." Aborting a baby because she is a girl is no different from aborting a baby because she has Down syndrome or because the mother's "mental health" requires it. Choice is choice. One Indian abortionist tells Ms. Hvistendahl: "I have patients who come and say 'I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.' "

This is where choice leads. This is where choice has already led. Ms. Hvistendahl may wish the matter otherwise, but there are only two alternatives: Restrict abortion or accept the slaughter of millions of baby girls and the calamities that are likely to come with it.
—Mr. Last is a senior writer at the Weekly Standard.

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O Sacred Head Now Wounded

O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden (youtube performance here)
Text and Translation of Chorale
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1656)
Chorale Melody: Befiehl du deine Wege (I) | Composer: Hans Leo Hassler (1601)

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach in the St. Matthew Passion) and English Translation

1 O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden,
Voll Schmerz und voller Hohn,
O Haupt, zum Spott gebunden
Mit einer Dornenkron;
O Haupt, sonst schön gezieret
Mit höchster Ehr' und Zier,
Jetzt aber höchst schimpfieret:
Gegrüßet sei'st du mir!

O Head full of blood and wounds,
full of pain and full of derision,
O Head, in mockery bound
with a crown of thorns,
O Head,once beautifully adorned
with the most honour and adornment,
but now most dishonoured:
let me greet you!

2 Du edles Angesichte,
Davor sonst schrickt und scheut
Das große Weltgewichte,
Wie bist du so bespeit!
Wie bist du so erbleichet!
Wer hat dein Augenlicht,
Dem sonst kein Licht nicht gleichet,
So schändlich zugericht't?

You noble countenance,
before which once shrinks and cowers
the great might of the world,
how you are spat upon!
How you are turned pallid!
Who has treated those eyes
to which no light is comparable
so shamefully?

3 Die Farbe deiner Wangen,
Der roten Lippen Pracht
Ist hin und ganz vergangen;
Des blaßen Todes Macht
Hat alles hingenommen,
Hat alles hingerafft,
Und daher bist du kommen
Von deines Leibes Kraft.

The colour of your cheeks,
the splendour of your red lips
has vanished completely;
the might of pale death
has taken all away,
has snatched up all,
and you have come to this
through your love's strength.

4 Nun, was du, Herr, erduldet,
Ist alles meine Last;
Ich hab' es selbst verschuldet,
Was du getragen hast.
Schau her, hier steh' ich Armer,
Der Zorn verdienet hat;
Gib mir, o mein Erbarmer,
Den Anblick deiner Gnad!

Now what you, Lord ,endure,
Is all my burden;
I have myself deserved
what you have borne.
See , I stand here a poor man
who has deserved your wrath;
grant to me, O my comforter,
a glimpse of your grace.

5 Erkenne mich, mein Hüter,
Mein Hirte, nimm mich an!
Von dir, Quell aller Güter,
Ist mir viel Gut's getan.
Dein Mund hat mich gelabet
Mit Milch und süßer Kost;
Dein Geist hat mich begabet
Mit mancher Himmelslust.

Recognise me, my guardian,
my shepherd, take me with you!
By you, the source of all goodness,
has so much good be done for me.
Your mouth has refreshed me
with milk and sweet food;
your spirit has bestowed on me
so many heavenly pleasures.

6 Ich will hier bei dir stehen,
Verachte mich doch nicht!
Von dir will ich nicht gehen,
Wenn dir dein Herze bricht;
Wenn dein Haupt wird erblaßen
Im letzten Todesstoß,
Alsdann will ich dich faßen
In meinen Arm und Schoß.

I shall stand here with you,
do not then scorn me!
I do not want to leave you
when your heart is breaking;
when your set turns pale
in the last throes of death
then I want to grasp you think
in my arm and bosomui1e.

7 Es dient zu meinen Freuden
Und kommt mir herzlich wohl,
Wenn ich in deinem Leiden,
Mein Heil, mich finden soll.
Ach, möcht' ich, o mein Leben,
An deinem Kreuze hier
Mein Leben von mir geben,
Wie wohl geschähe mir!

It serves to give me joy
and does my heart good
when in your sufferings,
my saviour, I can find myself.
Ah, if only I could, O my life,
here at your cross
give my life away from me,
what good fortune that would be for me!

8 Ich danke dir von Herzen,
O Jesu, liebster Freund,
Für deines Todes Schmerzen,
Da du's so gut gemeint.
Ach gib, daß ich mich halte
Zu dir und deiner Treu'
Und, wenn ich nun erkalte,
In dir mein Ende sei!

I thank you from my heart,
O Jesus, dearest friend,
for the sorrows of your death,
where what you intended was so good.
Ah grant that I may keep myself
with you and your faithfulness
and if I grow cold,
may my end be with you!

9 Wenn ich einmal soll scheiden,
So scheide nicht von mir;
Wenn ich den Tod soll leiden,
So tritt du dann herfür;
Wenn mir am allerbängsten
Wird um das Herze sein,
So reiß mich aus den Ängsten
Kraft deiner Angst und Pein!

When I must once and for all depart,
then do not depart from me;
when I must suffer death,
then stand by me;
when my heart will be
most fearful,
then snatch me from the terrors
by the virtue of your own fear and pain!

10 Erscheine mir zum Schilde,
Zum Trost in meinem Tod,
Und laß mich sehn dein Bilde
In deiner Kreuzesnot!
Da will ich nach dir blicken,
Da will ich glaubensvoll
Dich fest an mein Herz drücken.
Wer so stribt, der stirbt wohl.

Appear to me as my shield,
as comfort in my death,
and grant that I may see your image
in your agony on the cross!
Then I shall look towards you,
then full of faith I shall
press you closely to my heart.
To die in this way is to die well.


Government Does Not Love You

The state’s job is to do the people’s business, not to sympathize.

by Andrew C. McCarthy in National Review 14 April 2011 

The worst part about being a prosecutor was the defendants’ kids. Wives and parents would get to me, too, but nothing was worse than the kids — especially the young teenagers, when they’re just old enough to understand what is happening, when the idea of who dad is gets overrun by the reality of who dad is.
A prosecutor’s task is to paint a convincing portrait of reality, which sometimes meant revealing the kid’s hero as the ruthless scoundrel he really was. As a human being, it sometimes made me sick to do it — sick and angry, because the ruthless scoundrel would never be above using the kids. He’d doll up his attractive, loving family and seat them in the front row, where they could tug at the jury’s heartstrings and stare plaintively at the witnesses — as if it were the testimony, not the conduct, that made dad a fraud, a dope-dealer, a mafioso, or a terrorist.
I had idolized my father, and I’d lost him when I was a young teenager. As a Christian, I ached for what those kids had to be feeling as they watched me prove their fathers were monsters that juries should convict and judges send to jail for decades — sometimes for life. But as a public official, I didn’t give a damn. As part of government, my job was not to feel but to function. It wasn’t that my feelings weren’t real. It was that they had no place in the governmental duty that has to be performed if we are to flourish as a civil society.
I’ve thought about that dichotomy a lot the last few days, ever since Pete Wehner, the former Bush administration speechwriter and policy adviser, chastised me in the pages of Commentary. Pete is exercised because, in a column last week about the increasingly dubious U.S. military expedition in Afghanistan, I bluntly asked, “Why should we give a damn about the Afghan people?”
Wehner’s argument is presumptuous — unabashedly so. Putting on his clairvoyant’s hat, he peers into my brain and finds I am being “intentionally provocative” in advancing an “argument, presumably . . . that Afghanistan is an impoverished country located on the other side of the world, inhabited by people who are not worthy of our concern, let alone our care. If the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan and returned to their barbaric practices should be [sic] a matter of complete indifference to us.”
Maybe Wehner would not write such foolish things if he had been with me in Nairobi eleven years ago, after a jihadist bombing killed more than 200 mostly impoverished people, many of them Muslims. Maybe he’d have thought twice if he had sat with me through interview after heartrending interview with the survivors — scores of them maimed and blinded by the sheer sadism of the Islamists.
Fueled by an ideology that has long found a comfortable home in Afghanistan, the Islamists first detonated a grenade as a distraction. That caused people to rush to the windows of their offices. When the bomb exploded seconds later outside the American embassy, victims were carved by glass shards before being crushed under brick and steel. Kenya may be an impoverished country located on the other side of the world, but I was quite sure these people merited whatever reservoirs of concern and care I could muster. Still, human feeling aside, I was there because I was a government official with a terrorism case to prepare — not because I cared, but because I was furthering a compelling U.S. government interest.
Pete’s holier-than-thou demagoguery is misplaced. I did not grow up a person of means, and I’ve spent plenty of my private time and resources (such as they have been) agitating for those who have it worse than I do. But it’s not his suggestion that I am unfeeling because Afghans are poor people from a faraway place that most rankles. It is his confounding of personal and corporate sacrifice, framed in an airy stream of consciousness about “teleology, the purpose and design of human nature, and rights we are owed simply and only because we are human beings.”
Wehner claims to find the answer to my question “on the road to Jericho,” whence he launches into the parable of the Good Samaritan, in which “a hated foreigner and a spiritual half-breed” comes to the aid of a wounded stranger. “What Jesus was teaching,” he instructs, “is that love and mercy are not restricted to national boundaries,” and that “as recipients of grace, we ought to demonstrate it to the outcast, to those deemed to be the ‘other.’”
Wehner, however, misses a key point of the story: The Good Samaritan was a man, not a government. This is also the central distinction in a passage Wehner quotes, but similarly fails to grasp, from Malcolm Muggeridge’s book on Mother Teresa. It is, says Muggeridge, “man, made in God’s image” who must make decisions based on “the universal love” rather than “his own fears and disparities.” It is “life” — human life, not the functioning of government — that Muggeridge limns as “always and in all circumstances sacred,” as fostering concern for every sparrow that falls to the ground.
A government is not a man made in God’s image. It has functions, not a life. It is a necessary evil that undergirds and secures the liberty in which man can best find the universal love and be redeemed. Government is necessary because man is flawed; it is evil because it corrupts men and usurps liberty. That is why the American framers took such pains to limit and check its powers. Love and mercy are not bound by borders, but they are the attributes of people, not functions of government. Governments are restricted by national boundaries and national interests.
It is the progressive project to aggrandize government by humanizing it. Government becomes the life that cares and feels and exhibits concern. The real lives, the human lives, become cogs in the wheel, steered along by the general will — the pieties of whoever happens to control the ruling class. As liberty is degraded, the individual’s freedom is eviscerated. He becomes a passenger, not an actor. He needn’t trouble himself about love and mercy. They are not redemptive; they are government’s responsibility. It is government that decides which faraway impoverished peoples win the collective’s largesse and its favor. Don’t bother the citizen about this earthquake or that Third World basket case — he has paid his taxes.
That is not American way, though — at least not as our society was conceived and as it ought to be. American government does not determine and effectuate our morality; it performs the minimum functions we need it to perform so that our liberty is maximized. That, in turn, maximizes our capacity to live compassionate, redemptive lives.
As individuals, we may care deeply about the Afghan people — just as we should care about people generally. It is not, however, the role of our government to care about Afghans. Our government does not exist to care; it exists to promote the freedom and security of our body politic. The actions of our public officials are not supposed to be a reflection of how those officials, guided by their private religious and ethical principles, care about their fellow human beings the world over. Public officials must faithfully perform the tasks to which they are assigned in order to fulfill government’s limited, necessary functions. That is what enables individual Americans, the most charitable people on earth, to care for Afghans as they see fit.
Personally, I should give a damn about the Afghans. That may not mean I should try to help them. It may be that I’d be doing more harm than good — the well-intentioned Samaritan giving a dollar to a mendicant who promptly uses it to buy drugs. It may mean I should respect their choice to be part of an insular, anti-Western culture with all the resulting pathologies that entails. It may mean that, while I should have sympathy, other needy people are more deserving of my limited capacity to help. And maybe my love ought to be tough love — the kind that’s strong enough to say, “Talk to me after you’ve cleaned up your act,” in the hope that you may be persuaded to do so.
But what I asked in the column was the very different question of why we should give a damn about the Afghan people. In context, I was clearly speaking not about Americans as individuals but as a political community acting through its government. Governments should only act in the political community’s interests, not on the basis of what Pete or I feel.
The military mission in Afghanistan has devolved into something that is contrary to American interests. It was perfectly appropriate — indeed, it was necessary — to dispatch our armed forces to quell enemies trying to harm our country. But that is not our purpose there now. Government officials say we are there (i.e., our government is there) to protect the Afghans in what our military commanders call their war, not ours. If al-Qaeda were to reestablish Afghan havens, we have ways of striking those without having to put thousands of our young men and women in harm’s way — ways that we use in Pakistan and elsewhere. And as for the Taliban, while Wehner worries about their barbaric practices, our government is currently paying top dollar to woo them into settlement negotiations — the Obama administration has already come to terms with their return.
More important, the corrupt Afghan government we are propping up disserves our interests. Afghanistan remains a sharia state in which religious freedom is denied, in which former Muslims are put on capital trial for apostasy, and in which President Karzai himself — not an obscure Florida pastor — incited the hair-trigger of Islamist rage that resulted in the recent mass murder and decapitations in Mazar-e-Sharif. Worse still, top American military and political officials are now trying to curb our core constitutional protection of speech — a bedrock of the individual liberty that empowers Americans to give a damn — in deference to the Afghans’ claim of a right to riot over any slight to Islam, real or perceived.
Pete Wehner closes with a concession more telling than he seems to realize. Malcolm Muggeridge’s trenchant guidance on “the universal love,” he admits, “may not provide us with a governing blueprint.” That’s right. The universal love calls on each of us, as human beings, to care about the Afghans. But as a political community acting through its government, we needn’t give a damn.
 Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, is the author, most recently, of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.


Murder In the Name of God/Defending American Values

by Kevin Ward  (and I couldn't agree more...)

So, Terry Jones burns a Koran in Florida. A willful,deliberate act designed to be provocative and inflame passions. But, Mr. Jones, like his buddies at Westboro Baptist lives not only in a free country, but in a nation that holds firm that his freedom is natural to his humanity as endowed by our creator. A free man may reject and ridicule those with whom he disagrees or finds disagreeable. Our Republic has effectively codified the oft cited but often ignored precept by Voltaire: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

We have for quite a while now been libeled "Islamophobic" if we dare to point out the professed faith of those who have murdered and maimed in praise or defense of "Allah". The Fort Hood shooter yells "Allah Akbar", the gunman in Germany does the same. It is virtually ignored and of course it's never labeled terrorism. It's never pointed out in mainstream outlets that they took lives in the name of God. Denial is a bitch if you're afraid to be labeled "intolerant", or a "bigot" or an "Islamophobe". So we treat it as random violence, rather than an altogether demonic act of terror.

At this moment the numbers are all over the place, but at least twelve people have died and two beheaded in Afghanistan in a demonstration protesting Mr. Jones's Koran burning. It has been roundly condemned. What about bringing the perpetrators to justice? This is the same country we liberated where missionaries were killed just for possessing a "Holy Bible". It sure is comforting to know that one will be killed for either defacing a Koran and possessing a Bible. It need not be uttered, but to shed blood in the name of God is an act of barbarism.

The matter at hand as regarding the burning of the Koran does not rise to the attention of the President and does not for diplomatic purposes warrant an official response. Mr. Jones actions are reprehensible as an act of provocation, but is an action grounded in the deepest roots of American life and values. His actions did not necessitate a murderous rampage. But it did, or at least it was the pretext to justify murder.

I'm tired of placating thugs by ignoring their actions as a defense of faith. I'm tired of moral relativism as an excuse to coddle and appease savage theocratic ideologues. I'm tired of our most shameful chapters in history as a justification for moral relativity. As a nation we have struggled with our demons, but those spirits were confronted by a good people compelled to fight injustice in furtherance of American ideals. What made this nation great is not that we are free of sin or shame, but that we had the courage of greater convictions. Those who murder in the name of God do not identify their actions as sin or shame for they in their mind's eye are the servant of God, avenging his honor. That is the fundamental distinction between those who burn books and those who would kill innocent people in mourning the fate of printed type.

It's time that we proudly asserted our values, for those principles in our Constitution are not merely the province of Americans, but the natural human order. It is the clearest expression of human dignity and our inherent,natural rights. Free speech can be abrasive and hateful, but we don't kill for being offended. We protect it. As we should. If God gave us free will, then we are free to reject him and the faithful certainly have no fear for the future because one chooses to bite the apple.

As Americans we must reject calls to sanction or incarcerate Mr. Jones for his behavior. We must defend his right as disruptive as it is. To abandon a noble defense of our inalienable rights as an individual free man or woman sends a clear message that we may be intimidated into abandoning our most cherished principles. The United Nations has at the behest of Muslim member nations sought to pass a resolution or reach an agreement called "blasphemy laws". This is an attempt to define criticism of faith or religion as a human rights violation. It is an effort to deny our most precious right of free speech. It is an attitude that tries to kill Danish cartoonists, an effort that justifies killing Dutch film makers and driving a young American woman into hiding for suggesting "Everyone Draw Muhammad Day".

Are we failing our republican principles out of fear for losing Saudi oil that finances wahabist madrases? Are we so fearful of attack that we would rather live obediently than stand at the watchtower of democracy? Are we too timid to do as Voltaire and die defending the right to speak freely? Are we so offended by others that we fail to recognize an effort at the erosion of our natural rights?

There are many things that are antithetical to a free society and people. In a free country we reject the very notion, the concept of heresy,apostasy,blasphemy and sacrilege. In a free society nothing and no one is sacred,not even God. If he had meant anyone to avenge his name he would've given them wings. In the  meantime, we must publicly reinforce our dedication to defend our core principles. The founders in the Declaration of Independence pledged their lives,their fortunes and their most sacred honor. We are obligated to perpetuate their sacrifice. It may leave a bad taste in our mouths but we must defend Terry Jones. It's the right thing to do. It's the American Way. We'll leave his final judgement on the matter to a higher authority, but we must stand guard against those who imagine they have wings and do the will of God.


The Sharia Catechism - Jihad Watch

The Sharia Catechism
Posted by Roland Shirk on March 18, 2011 6:08 PM
I must admit that when I first began studying Islam and its political manifestations, I found myself puzzled and put off by the sheer foreignness and apparent complexity of the issues—in much the same way that patriotic Americans who supported the free market and a free society felt when confronted (during the 1930s) with the growth and influence of the global Communist movement. Did one really need to learn German—and the science of economics—in order to read Karl Marx, then Russian to master the subtleties of Leninist and Trotskyite theory?
If you wanted to be an academic you certainly did, but the average American who became an informed opponent of Communism was loath to dedicate so much of his time and energy to the intimate study of worldviews he knew—on the face of it—were incompatible with all his deepest values and the best interests of his country. What is more, he felt he could judge a tree by its fruits—the nature of which was clearly apparent to any honest observer (but not to [1] dupes) from reports by escapees from Soviet Russia. Does one really need to master the thousands of pages of bad economics and clunky, reductionist philosophy penned by Marx and his minions to know that an economic system based on obliterating property rights and forcing men to abandon their inherent self-seeking was doomed to famines and tyranny?
Surely it helped that men like Ludwig von Mises provided devastating analyses of the flaws in Marxist theory—such as Mises' [2] classic essay on how any form of socialism destroys the price system, that elegantly efficient method of matching human work with human wants, and can only hope to replace it by reshaping civilization on the model of a termite colony. But a simple knowledge of history and human nature would have pointed the same conclusion.
Even monasteries populated by men who have voluntarily renounced property, progeny, and freedom of action—by embracing the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience—have frequently failed in their mission. The reason the world came to have so many Benedictine orders—the Cluniacs, the Trappists, the Cistercians—is that the original ideal was so hard to live, that monasteries quickly became corrupt, and had to give way to new “reform” branches that promised (this time!) to really live up to St. Benedict's Rule. Much the same story unfolded among the Franciscans and even the Carmelites. If voluntary recruits to self-selected communities upheld by contemplative prayer cannot reliably hold to such anti-instinctual standards of behavior, what conceivable earthly power could enforce them on the mass of men? Only an all-encompassing tyranny more comprehensive than any the world had yet seen. A simple reading of The Communist Manifesto would have revealed its final program: godless monasticism, enforced at the point of a bayonet. The real essence of socialism was exposed by a wistful socialist, George Orwell, whose depiction in 1984 of the ideology he called “[3] Oligarchical Collectivism” unveiled the ideology in its essence: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.” His Ingsoc Party indeed favors an infernal, secular parody of monasticism, opposing on principle prosperity, eros, and liberty. Intelligent observers of Soviet policies could—and many did—draw such conclusions.
Likewise, honest readers of the Qur'an and other authoritative Muslim texts can draw certain conclusions, which all the evasions and obfuscations of pseudo-moderate Muslims (remember [4] Eurocommunism? Anyone? It was all the rage in respectable liberal circles while I was in college in the 80s.) cannot obscure. Let me lay out my own no-nonsense take on the question, in a form I'll call the Sharia Catechism:
What does Islam teach? Islam teaches that it is the final revelation from God, and the only legitimate world religion. All other faiths, or secular world views, are either idol-worship, blasphemous parodies of Islam, or degenerate perversions of it.
When was Islam founded? Islam was founded when Abraham made his covenant with God. The Jews who claimed that this covenant constituted Judaism are lying (as is their wont), and relying on faked scriptures that their scheming ancestors crafted to suit their own ethnic aggrandizement.
Where are the original scriptures recounting the history of Abraham, Moses, and other early Muslims? These original scriptures no longer exist. They were destroyed and replaced by the crafty Jews.
Who was Jesus? Jesus (Isa) was a Muslim prophet who came as the Messiah to recall the faithless Jews to their Muslim faith. The true accounts of his life and message were altered beyond recognition by the scheming Christians—who also spread the lie that he was crucified, and rose from the dead.
Where are these original Gospels? These original Gospels were destroyed by the early Christians (who were also, we must remember, Jews), shortly after they were written—in order to cover up their clear predictions of the coming of Muhammad.
Will Jesus come again at the end of the world? Yes, Jesus will come again to destroy Christianity, kill all the pigs in the world, and end dhimmitude—by forcing all Christians either to convert to Islam or be killed (like the pigs).
What is the proper treatment of non-Muslims? When Muslims are weak, they should practice tolerance of unbelievers, and ask for similar tolerance. As they grow in numbers, they must harden their attitudes as Muhammad hardened his once he commanded an army in Medina. Muslims should spread their faith by conquest; by preaching; and by emigrating to non-Muslim countries and demanding tolerance—then once they are strong enough, they should impose the true faith on the government where they can. Polytheists should then be allowed to convert or else be killed; monotheist infidels such as Jews and Christians should be offered a third option: Utter, willing subjection to Muslims, with their obedience binding on pain of death. These non-believers must pay a special, heavy tax and keep quiet about their religion, not trying to spread it.
So if Jews accept their proper role as dhimmis, they are in theory welcome in Muslim societies? Yes and no. In theory, yes. In practice, no. The atrocity of Zionist control of the Muslim holy city of Jerusalem is so great that no Jews should remain in Muslim countries. They are simply too crafty and dangerous.
Is sharia law an intrinsic part of Islam? Yes, it is as basic to Muslims as the Torah is to Jews and the sacraments are to Orthodox and Catholics. It is how Muslims live out their faith in the world.
Must Muslims seek to impose sharia? Only where it seems likely they will succeed. Until then, they should deceive the unbelievers, as Islamic ethics allow.
What about Muslims who oppose sharia and religious discrimination? They are [5] bad Muslims, and they will burn in hell with all the Christians, Jews, and idol-worshippers. But we should not say this openly until we are strong enough throughout the West. Until then, it benefits us to highlight such people, and claim that they are representative.
What about those who oppose Islam? They are enemies of God who deserve death in this life and eternal punishment in the next. However, if it helps us fight them more effectively, we can call them “racists,” “xenophobes,” and “Islamophobe.”
What is an Islamophobe? An Islamophobe is someone who opposes sharia, and is unwilling either to convert or beg for the protection of dhimmitude.
Whom should we call an Islamophobe? Anyone who gets in our way.

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St. Patrick: One of the Greatest Missionaries Who Ever Lived

Mark Driscoll » Mission Dead Guys Church History

I am a servant of Christ to a foreign nation for the unspeakable glory of life everlasting which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Patrick
My family name was originally O’Driscoll until it was changed a few generations ago by relatives hoping to more fully assimilate into American culture after immigrating from Ireland. Though I was raised Irish Catholic, I knew virtually nothing about Saint Patrick other than the green beer, parades, shamrocks, leprechauns, and drunken Red Sox fans that celebrated in his honor every March 17th. Technically, Saint Patrick is not even a saint, as he was never canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, Patrick was not even Irish. Rather, he was a Roman-Britain who spoke Latin and a bit of Welsh. Patrick was born around 390 A.D. When he was roughly 16 years of age he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland on a ship where he was sold into slavery. He spent the next six years alone in the wilderness as a shepherd for his masters’ cattle and sheep.


Patrick was a rebellious non-Christian teenager who had come from a Christian family. His grandfather was a pastor, and his father was a deacon. However, during his extended periods of isolation without any human contact, Patrick began praying and was eventually born again into a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. Patrick endured the years of isolation in rain and snow by praying up to 100 prayers each day and another 100 each night. In his early twenties God spoke to Patrick in a dream, telling him to flee from his master for a ship that was waiting for him. Amazingly, Patrick made the 200-mile journey on foot without being caught or harmed to find a ship setting sail for his home, just as God had promised. The sailors were out of food for the journey, and after Patrick prayed a herd of pigs miraculously ran toward the ship, providing a bountiful feast for the long voyage home.

God Speaks to Patrick

Upon returning home, Patrick enrolled in seminary and was eventually commissioned as a pastor. Some years later God spoke to Patrick in a dream, commanding him to return to Ireland to preach the gospel and plant churches for the pagans who lived there. The Roman Catholic Church had given up on converting such “barbarians” deemed beyond hope. The Celtic peoples, of which the Irish were part, were an illiterate bunch of drunken, fighting, perverted pagans who basically had sex with anyone and worshiped anything. They were such a violent and lawless people, numbering anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000, that they had no city centers or national government and were spread out among some 150 warring clans. Their enemies were terrified of them because they were known to show up for battles and partake in wild orgies before running into battle naked and drunk while screaming as if they were demon-possessed. One clan was so debased that it was customary for each of their new kings to copulate with a white mare as part of his inauguration.

Unique Missionary Strategy

In faith, the forty-something year-old Patrick sold all of his possessions, including the land he had inherited from his father, to fund his missionary journey to Ireland. He worked as an itinerant preacher and paid large sums of money to various tribal chiefs to ensure he could travel safely through their lands and preach the gospel. His strategy was completely unique, and he functioned like a missionary trying to relate to the Irish people and communicate the gospel in their culture by using such things as three-leaf clovers to explain the gospel. Upon entering a pagan clan, Patrick would seek to first convert the tribal leaders and other people of influence. He would then pray for the sick, cast demons out of the possessed, preach the Bible, and use both musical and visual arts to compel people to put their faith in Jesus. If enough converts were present he would build a simple church that did not resemble ornate Roman architecture, baptize the converts, and hand over the church to a convert he had trained to be the pastor so that he could move on to repeat the process with another clan. Patrick gave his life to the people who had enslaved him until he died at 77 years of age. He had seen untold thousands of people convert as between 30-40 of the 150 tribes had become substantially Christian. He had trained 1000 pastors, planted 700 churches, and was the first noted person in history to take a strong public stand against slavery.

Roman Opposition

Curiously, Patrick’s unorthodox ministry methods, which had brought so much fruit among the Irish, also brought much opposition from the Roman Catholic Church. Because Patrick was so far removed from Roman civilization and church polity he was seen by some as an instigator of unwelcome changes. This led to great conflicts between the Roman and Celtic Christians. The Celtic Christians had their own calendar and celebrated Easter a week earlier than their Roman counterparts. Additionally, the Roman monks shaved only the hair on the top of their head, whereas the Celtic monks shaved all of their hair except their long locks which began around the bottom of their head as a funky monk mullet. The Romans considered these and other variations by the Celtic Christian leaders to be acts of insubordination. In the end, the Roman Church should have learned from Patrick, who is one of the greatest missionaries who has ever lived. Though Patrick’s pastors and churches looked different in method, they were very orthodox in their theology and radically committed to such things as Scripture and the Trinity. Additionally, they were some of the most gifted Christian artists the world has ever known, and their prayers and songs endure to this day around the world, including at Mars Hill where we occasionally sing the "Prayer of Saint Patrick" and the Celtic hymn "Be Thou My Vision."

For Further Study:

  • At there is a free copy available of Patrick’s book Confessions.
  • Steve Rabey’s book In the House of Memory is a good introduction to Patrick and Celtic Christianity.
  • Thomas Cahill’s book How the Irish Saved Civilization is a fascinating historical look at Patrick and the implications of Celtic Christianity on western history.
  • is the site for Christian History and Biography magazine, which is a wonderful resource that includes an entire issue on Patrick and Celtic Christianity.